Before I resign from IGDA:
In a sign of how frenzied, panicky and intolerant the games industry establishment has become over the legitimate concerns of ordinary gamers, the International Game Developers’ Association branded some 10,425 Twitter accounts, including those of journalists, as harassment “offenders” in a humiliatingly ill-conceived attempt to provide a “blocking tool” to its members.
The blocking tool, which has been widely mocked online for its lack of sophistication and “blanket ban” approach, was assembled by Randi Harper, a persistent online agitator. The tool prevents users from seeing not only the tweets of users Harper has decided are implicated in harassment, but also many accounts who simply follow those users, by blocking a list of thousands of users with the use of an automated “bot.”
So indiscriminately has the block list been compiled that the IGDA’s own staff appear on it. Roberto Rosario, chair of the IGDA in Puerto Rico, is named on the list. In an acutely embarrassing moment for the Association, Rosario, who is not a GamerGate supporter, publicly threatened to resign unless his name was removed or the bot was disavowed.
It turns out that I, too, am on the block list. I was asked to join IGDA by its then-president at a big European games conference some years ago, which I subsequently did. I’m pretty sure that he’s not the president now, because he didn’t strike me as a complete idiot. I know I’m a member of a European GDA, but it’s a different organization than IGDA, so I don’t know what my current membership status is with them. Expired, I assume, but I’ll have to check on Monday.